Nidalee Build Guide by Hasta123
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
- Very mobile
- High survivability even w/o armor and mr
- Consistent in lane
- Very high ap/ad scaling on first skills(both human and cougar)
- A bit CC resistant and with Zhonya's, can avoid cc for a short time
- At level 6, becomes a great jungler and farmer
- Very fun to play with
- Very CC vulnerable and squishy
- Mana consumption is very high and gets her mana low fast
- Cannot CARRY!
- Hard to master
What AP Nidalee should not do:
-Act as a fighter
-Act as a tank
Now let's get to it!
Reasons for skill sequence:
- Aim! Aim! Aim! If you can't aim properly it's a useless skill.
Takedown is a very good source of burst damage plus it refreshes your attack cooldown on cast. If you're trying out Lich Bane or any item with Sheen effect don't build crit strikes because this skill glitches and sheen effect and crit strike will cancel each other out.
- Try to max out using its 200% multiplier(which is based on health), it's not really a good skill when used at enemies with high health.
- Try to put out a trap at areas where you can lure enemies to max out that mr and armor reduction.
- It gives vision on enemies inside the brush, vision on targetable traps like Teemo's and Shaco's.
Pounce is a great escape mechanic for Nid with its low cd. It causes damage on area landed. It has low ap ratio though. You can jump on thin walls and even some trees. It is not affected by Cooldown Reduction(if it was, Nid would be the hardest character to catch :) )
- Positioning is important on jumping walls.
- Try not to get this skill on cooldown when you feel that you'll be ganked.
- Use it every time when trying to get anywhere on the map.
- Try not to lose mana because this skill is a life-saver.
- During team fights people usually use this heal on champs with low health which is right and this comes very naturally to everyone but try to use this skill on as/ad champs right before a gank/team fight.
Swipe is the main skill that Nid has that makes her a pusher. It's aoe and has the same ap ratio with Pounce.
- Just use it!
Aspect Of The Cougar
- Use this wisely and at the right time!
- Stay in cougar form for that bonus move speed and pounce when not in a fight(any fight).
- Use her human form to start a fight to give allies that attack speed buff and that javelin toss harass plus that mr and armor reducing trap.
- Always get into brush anywhere you go, it's one big advantage which you'll find out once you're using her.
I hear Nid has a hidden passive which periodically gives experience to nearby teammates of lower levels. This is a pop culture reference to older ladies who prefer younger mates being called cougars. At least that's what I heard and that is why I added Awareness Mastery so that when laning with others you both will get to higher levels faster than the enemies.
Skill Rotation and Why
This is assuming you're already at level 6 and have added all the skills.
First off, use Primal Surge on yourself for that buff. Second, change form and use pounce + swipe (be sure to aim pounce). Use Takedown if needed. Rotate over and over until farming is finished.
If you are near any champ, use heal on them (ad/as > other champs). Position yourself in a place, preferably brush, and wait for target to be far enough from turret to escape and start off with a javelin toss. Change form, aim your Pounce, Takedown then Swipe. Change form if target has low health and out of range then either use Javelin or auto-attack (depending on the enemy's life of course).
If you are near any champ, use heal on them (ad/as > other champs). Harass with javelin Toss, plant Traps, continue healing. Wait for the right moment to change form. Change form only if 1) enemy champs have used most of their CC/AOE skills and 2) an enemy champ is very low on health and you are unable to aim Javelin Toss properly.
When escaping you CAN change the tides if only one is after you. First you have to utilize the brush and the pounce should be estimated. Remember to prepare a pounce for the wall jumps, many get frustrated and when they reach the walls the pounce is still on cd = dead. For turning the tides around, this is inspired by a video I saw, upon reaching a brush change form use heal and javelin toss at the enemy. Continue using brush as a healing station and using javelin IF YOU CAN (meaning using javelin and not letting the enemy get to you). You can also add a trap to this if you have time that is. Once your health is higher than the enemy's and considering that you know your cougar skills have enough damage, change form pounce, takedown and swipe.
WHY TAKEDOWN BEFORE SWIPE?
Because Takedown has a shorter range than swipe and pounce might be cooling down, thus there's a risk that you might not get that takedown if you do swipe first.
WHY START OFF WITH A JAVELIN TOSS?
It's because it's a ranged skill and does the heaviest damage especially if the distance from the target is very far.
WHY NOT JUST STAY IN COUGAR ALL THROUGH-OUT GANKING/TEAM FIGHTING?
In ganking, remember that to max your takedown you need your enemy's health to be very low which is why we start off with javelin.
In team fights, you are still vulnerable to CC even with the Merc Boots.
EVERYONE SHOULD REMEMBER THAT NIDALEE IS NOT A FIGHTER. THIS MEANS THAT SHE DOES NOT STAND A CHANCE AGAINST AD CHARACTERS IN COUGAR FORM. SHE SHOULD ALWAYS USE UP HER HUMAN SKILLS BEFORE CHANGING. THE FLOW USUALLY IS TO USE UP ALL SKILLS IN EACH FORM. AFTER USING UP ALL SKILLS IN COUGAR FORM DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTINUE ATTACKING, INSTEAD BACK IT UP A BIT, CHANGE TO HUMAN, USE ALL SKILLS, CHANGE TO COUGAR, USE ALL SKILLS, BACK IT UP, CHANGE TO HUMAN, ETC. REMEMBER THAT HER AUTO ATTACKS DON'T COUNT FOR A LOT SO DON'T WAIT FOR HER COUGAR SKILLS TO COOLDOWN JUST CHANGE BACK TO HUMAN FORM.
Runes, Masteries and Summoner Spells
Most of the runes are AP because of the heal. You can't really harass much early on(lvl 1-5), so we utilize her as a supporter with her heal healing an adequate amount of health for lane partners.
Cleanse - To cancel out all that CC
Flash - For escaping and getting those kills
Other Spells I recommend:
Ghost - For that higher survivability and sometimes works for getting kills
Exhaust - This spell works well in supporting. This is also a very recommended spell because Nidalee has no CC whatsoever.
Heal - For survivabilty
Teleport - Since Nidalee is a pusher it's only fitting to add this for pushing reasons. Also for defending, but Nid isn't the best defender out there.
This build recommends some items with CC but also gives alternatives.
Core Item Build:
I prefer Nid laning with a partner so that your partner will level fast (remembering her hidden passive and Awareness mastery). Laning at mid alone is also good, but Nid isn't the best mid laner out there, that is until she can reach level 6.
Nid can be a great laning partner because she acts as support and AP nuker.
When reaching a point where you get ganked, find a way to use brush because it helps a lot. Use traps on the brush so that creeps won't step on them. When your partner tries to initiate a fight, just stay back spam javelin toss and auto attacks. Don't forget to heal. If your partner is down and out, you may want to lure the enemies to the trapped brushes for the damage and mr and armor reduction. If you're level 6 already you can begin ganking and jungling.
That ends my build/guide for an AP Nidalee hope you guys find it useful!